Hundreds of Renesas Electronics‘ radiation-hardened (rad-hard) integrated circuits (ICs), including more than 50 different part numbers, are onboard the Artemis 1 launch that launched on November 16. Intersil-brand, rad-hard ICs are part of the battery management systems, RS-25 engine control electronics and the launch abort system on the Space Launch System (SLS) that propelled the mission into space.
On the Orion Capsule that will circle the moon, Renesas provided critical components for controller boards, the main flight computer, the docking camera system, the power distribution system and display and panel electronics. The Intersil-brand ICs perform multiple functions, including power management and precision signal processing.
Artemis 1 is sending the test-mannequin populated, Orion capsule to orbit the moon and deploy smallsats and other space experiments on a 42-day mission to test all the critical systems. Artemis 2 (2024) will have a crew that will orbit the moon and will pave the way for Artemis 3 (2025), which will land the first woman and the first person of color on the moon. The plan is for Artemis to continue to build a space station in lunar orbit and a base on the lunar South Pole. This infrastructure will allow for the awe-inspiring goal of a crewed mission to Mars in the 2040s.
The Renesas Intersil brand has a long history in the space industry spanning more than six decades, beginning with the founding of Radiation Inc. in 1950. Since then, virtually every satellite, shuttle launch and deep-space exploration mission has included Intersil-branded products. Renesas leverages this experience to deliver efficient, thermally optimized and highly reliable SMD, MIL-STD-883 and MIL-PRF 38535 Class-V/Q Intersil-branded products for the defense, high-reliability (Hi-Rel), and rad-hard space markets. Renesas Intersil-brand rad-hard ICs support subsystems for mission critical applications in data communications transfer, power supplies and power conditioning, general protection circuitry, and telemetry, tracking and control (TT&C).
Deep space is a challenging environment for spaceflight and asteroid exploration systems, particularly due to the intense radiation environment encountered in nearly all mission profiles. Design, layout, certain process technologies, and manufacturing steps like burn-in and total dose testing of ICs ensures predictable performance and prevents system failure while in flight and on long duration robotic and crewed missions to other planets.
Renesas’ Intersil-Brand Spaceflight IC Capabilities Include:
400 space-qualified radiation-hardened products available
Consistent design and manufacturing in Renesas’ MIL-PRF-38535-qualified facility located in Palm Bay, Florida
Renesas’ Intersil brand is one of only ~15 RHA Defense Logistics Agency (Land and Maritime) QML suppliers
Fully Class V (space level) compliant products
Products are on individual DLA SMD drawings
“We leverage decades of experience as a deeply trusted space supplier to design and manufacture our Intersil brand rad-hard ICs to withstand the harshest of environments,” said Chris Stephens, Vice President, and General Manager of the HiRel Business Division at Renesas. “These devices play a key role in enabling this seminal moment which is capturing the imagination of a new and diverse group of engineers, scientists, and explorers.”